I’ve always been a chicken when it comes to anything even remotely scary. I’m not kidding, I used to change the channel when even a commercial preview for a horror movie came on, and I still sleep with a nightlight to this day. I never thought I would be brave enough to endure Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) event, but HHN 2018 will be my fourth consecutive year attending, and while I’m still not completely comfortable roaming the streets of Universal among the monsters, I’ve experienced enough to make it a little bit less of a nightmare.
If you’ve never been to HHN (and especially if the idea of going makes you a little nervous) it can be an intimidating and overwhelming event to navigate, but if this self-proclaimed horror baby can turn herself into a (reluctant) Halloween Queen, you can do it, too! I’ve learned some tricks over the years to make the experience more manageable, keep reading for your Halloween Horror Nights Survival Guide.
So I didn’t just decide one day that I was suddenly brave enough to go to Horror Nights. I was genuinely terrified for my first visit, there really wasn’t any part of me that desired to actually be there. But my motivation behind buying my first Frequent Fear pass was a noble and familiar motivation behind a lot of decisions that we make in our lives that put us outside our comfort zone: love. My boyfriend Matthew got a seasonal job at Universal as a scareactor, and what kind of girlfriend would I have been if I didn’t go see him all dressed up and making people scream?! (And yes, that included me. Rude of him, huh?)
The haunted houses at HHN are some of the most elaborately themed mazes you’ll ever see, and with that comes some very frightening, well-executed jump scares, most of which are accompanied by an extremely loud, jarring noise. When I expressed to Matthew how panicked the scares made me as I tried to navigate the houses, he told me a trick that the scareactors use to make the volume bearable for them was to wear earplugs. After trying not to sob my way through yet another house, I gave the earplugs a try, and it was a total game-changer. Wearing earplugs made walking through the beautiful and elaborately themed and decorated houses more like watching a scary movie on mute. I was able to enjoy the scenery and the experience as opposed to jumping out of my skin as I rounded every corner, and while I still have to hold on to someone’s hand as I walk through, I can do it straight faced and standing tall.
For the rest of my HHN survival tactics, click here!
Halloween Horror Nights continues to be a love/hate relationship, but the love part has definitely grown since I’ve learned the best way to do it for me. Let me know if these tips help you, and if you have any other good ones for me!
Til next time,